Ben and Rebecca from Seward Alaska have two Facebook groups, Alaska RV Travelers, and Alaska Overland Travelers. During the start of their trips, they had a blog called “His and Hers Alaska.” A YouTube video hosted in what looks like their beautiful Alaskan home gives some detail on themselves, and the 30 worst mistakes people make traveling to Alaska in their RV. Moved to Alaska in 2007, bought their first RV here in 2011, and since then to 2015 have spent a lot of time during the summer exploring Alaska in their very own motor home. (Rebecca) “We were thoughts people like…. First to de-winterize, last to winterize… Diehards out on the road until it snowed.”
It’s a mistake not to come here to Alaska, especially in the summer. There is so much to see here in a land aimed for adventure. Being very accessible with many ways to travel around the country from boat, car, train, RV, and plane. There’s always the fear of expecting something bad to happen on the road and I agree you shouldn’t let thoughts or other fears stop you from having a great time. The land here is a lot larger and places to stop are spread out thin depending on where you’re trying to go you will end up being the only people on that stretch of land for quite some time if you were to break down. Everyone loves to plan a trip, and a lot of people would agree to see or have been the culprit of an over-planned trip. Meaning you have everything you’re going to be doing to science, down to maybe the last minute. A lot can go on in a short amount of time bad or good here. If you’re trying to map out an entire trip like (Ben) says “grand trip, Kenia, peninsula, Anchorage, Fairbanks, and back.”
(Rebecca) “and Valdez.”
Won’t work with the 7 days you can rent an RV. You’ll have plenty of stops along the way trying to maintain your health, rest, food, and exploration. You’re going to be expecting a lot of time on the road driving, so if it’s your first trip start on one place maybe two, spend some quality time there and plan your next trip in a new area. You won’t be the first and not the last traveler wanting to spend more time in the frontier. (Rebecca) “Leave wanting more.”
Depending on when you decide on your travel, the winters here can sneak up on you with slippery conditions. You, comrades, and the vehicle won’t like traveling in, the best advice from them and me with personal experience driving on these roads as a resident of Fairbanks and the north pole for about 20 years, is to wait it out and continue when conditions are more controllable. Don’t ignore that gut feeling telling you to pull over for better weather its worth your time and saves you a lot in trying to dig out or wait for a passer-by with a big enough truck to pull you out of a ditch.
When traveling on dirt roads Ben and Rebecca have two of their favorites to share, Top of the World Highway, and Denali Highway. Rebecca mentions there being a faerie you can take from the Alaskan side to the Yukon side. Now that’s cool, imagine loading your hall and looking at a picture framed to float the Yukon. I live here and haven’t gotten to experience that kind of travel yet. Like your backpack, it’s suggested here to pick something smaller but big enough for you to travel in. With the conditions, something bigger might limit you.
Ben makes a good point on how everyone, at least thoughts of age know how to drive the rig you are traveling in. Just in case (Ben) “The old man’s Ticker goes out.” Not to deter anyone they say, but make sure as a precautionary measure to avoid as much as possible.
Talking about possible outcomes might as well check up on your safety gear in case of cuts, wounds, scraps, and headaches. Like they said either somebody with you or along the way will know how to use your medical equipment if you don’t know how to. Bringing the proper tools or making sure they’re provided, and a correct fit makes the job of changing your oil, air filter, fuel filter, spark plugs, and tire swap a lot easier.
There are a lot of places to go fishing and experience kayaking on the Alaskan waterways. Check out Fish and Game regulations, making sure you’re in the right before taking anything out of the water. There are plenty of areas, and with a good tackle, lures, lines, and rods. If everything goes swimmingly, you’ll have the fresh fish on a firepit or grill ready to eat by sundown or sunset. If you decide to get a charter boat instead of just fishing off the shore in some places, They have a system where you can catch quite a bit of fish and take it home with you flayed and ready to eat. Ben and Rebecca say they even save your fish for you until you’re ready to leave.
Another thing I strongly agree with is the wildlife here, out in the bush is going to be unexpected. You could go days even weeks without seeing any of the wildlife. This isn’t a petting zoo, there will be moose, deer, or other animals that will randomly cross the road within eyeshot of you.
This brings me to protecting yourself there are a lot of people that will bring their guns to Alaska to protect themselves for many reasons. On most of my trips with fellow students here at (JCC) Job Corps Center, we will bring bear spray for protection. This is relatively all you need for animal protection. Do some extensive research with about 3 reliable sources, preferably from people who have either been here already or are Alaskans. There are plenty of experts here and I mean a lot of people. I’ve gone to school with a lot of amazing Alaskan Natives who would be able to tell you how beautiful and unforgiving the land can be.
If you would like to learn more about Ben and Rebecca, they have a website www.HisHisandHersHub.com. Stay safe out there and don’t forget to have fun, and experience all Alaska has to offer.
Ben and Rebecca Pazdernik, “30 worst mistakes when visiting Alaska” https://youtu.be/uwh7LQYsJ1c, Nov 8, 2019.